Thursday, 23 March 2017

Man Inspires Collective Action

Pegmir Tada comes from a tiny village named Ripari under Kamporijo Block of Lower Subansiri district in Arunachal Pradesh. He is a hard working farmer by profession and is dependent on agriculture the sustenance of his family. He was following the conventional methods of farming practices which did not yield results as expected. He could hardly support his family the production from his fields until 2012. He could not even afford sending his children to a good school for education.
It was only during 2013 when the FARM North East I interventions were carried out in Pegmir’s village.  Pegmir took the opportunity learn new things from the trainings conducted by IDEA on agricultural practices. Pegmir lost no time in applying those useful technologies in his fields. It was only a matter of time when Pegmir saw his crop yields growing on the higher side. Earlier Pegmir’s produce could support his family hardly for half a year but now he has even surplus to be sold out to market.
Pegmir, today has unleashed a source of inspiration to his fellow farmers who were still struggling to enhance their livelihood options through better technological interventions in agriculture. The fellow farmers in RIpari are following Pegmir’s footsteps towards a better future. It is worth mentioning here that Pegmir has been instrumental in bringing in drinking water to his village through help and advice from IDEA team. The nearest drinking water source from Ripari was 2 Kms away that made peoples’ life difficult. However, Pegmir initiated a collective action of his people and ended up by bringing in drinking water pipelines to his village.
Pegmir goes on inspiring his people and putting in all efforts to make the lives of his and his people better.


Contributed by: Sanjit Basumatary
Coordinator, IDEA
Arunachal Pradesh

Edited By: Prabal Sen
State Officer, Caritas India


Keshab Das - An Inspiration



Khaloibari in Kamrup metro district of Assam is one of the project villages under FARM North East II where lives, Keshab Das, as 62 years old farmer is doing all that is possible to inspire his own people. Keshab, a born farmer is blessed with the skills that make him different from other conventional farmers. Keshab stuck to organic farming when all his fellow farmers resorted to chemical farming. Keshab was still adamant to keep alive the values of traditional farming that never encouraged chemical inputs. Keshab is also a custodian of knowledge on indigenous health system. He hardly goes to a hospital for any cure as he knows the cure by using plant resources growing in his garden and around.
Keshab has always open to new ideas and technologies and he wastes no time in trying those useful ideas and technologies. It was for FARM NE I to come to his village with interventions in agricultural activities that made Keshab follow them religiously and do better and better in his fields.  
Today, Keshab is growing more than what he used to by putting practice the technologies he learned from Caritas India’s interventions under FARM North East. Keshab became an entrepreneur by selling products like paddy, vegetables and even compost that produced. Keshab is also a plant grafting expert, an art he learned before. He is selling a good number of grafted saplings to the open market.
Three varieties of paddy seeds from Bangladesh have been grown by Keshab in his fields. These seeds in a very minimum quantity were brought by the State Officer from Nepal in 2015. Keshab ensured that he would grow the seeds and the story is not just over! Keshab is now willing to not only sell the paddy but also distribute among his fellow farmers.
Keshab’s is not just a story but a saga of inspiration. The hardworking people of his village are looking forward to him to inspire them as always.




Contributed by: Prabin Minz
Coordinator, GGSS
Assam

Edited By: Prabal Sen
State Officer, Caritas India

Thursday, 1 October 2015

COMMUNITY ACTION FOR A CLEAN VILLAGE

As they say Cleanliness is next Godliness, Domkohsam village in the West Khasi hills of Meghalaya stands as an excellent example of cleanliness. Khasis from Meghalaya are known for their cleanliness, be it their homes or their surroundings. “We love cleanliness and try to teach our children to be clean and tidy always”, said Ms. Barbara Lyngdoh, Associate Coordinator of Farmer Club. But with time things don’t always change for good. The community in Domkohsam village seemed to have lost touch with what they used to be known for. The village wore a shabby look with loads of filth trashed around. People would not just mind throwing waste materials as they wanted to.
 
But Domkohsam as any other village sensible village had a few good men as well who thought otherwise. Since quite a few years we have been observing people dumping wastes wherever they want to. We could not simply sit back & watch our own people converting the village into garbage”, said Francis Marngar, Sardar (village heaman) of Domsohkam. Nongstoin Social Service Society (NSSS), a FARM NE partner has been working in Domkohsam village since 2013. Team NSSS has been motivating the people of Domkohsam from time to time in various meaningful ways. “When the village elders shared the issue of wrong practice of dumping garbage, we told them two basic things; firstly they have to make their own people aware on cleanliness and secondly they can construct a common garbage for all in the village”, said Brolius D Marbaniang, Project Coordinator, FARM NE.
 

The farmers club of Domkohsam got active and started mobilizing people for the cause. “We started speaking to men and women in the village even in person to make them aware of the value of cleanliness”, said Jenes Kharpan, Chief Coordinator of Farmers Club. The farmers club in their monthly meeting during April 2015 discussed the issue in length with the community of Domkohsam. The meeting decided that hence forth each household should have a proper place to throw the waste materials from their household. It was also decided that the farmers club would submit an application to the concerned authorities for construction of garbage in the village. The application has already been submitted during the month of June 2015 and now the people are awaiting the response.
 

Another meeting was convened by the farmers club during July 2105 where all the 70 households of the village attended. The village elders gave a reminder to all to have a proper place for disposing waste materials in every household as it was high time to think constructive now.  It was encouraging to observe that the people decided enact a rule that would amount to imposing fines tuning to Rs 2000.00 to the households that do not have a proper garbage disposal in place within the household. It was also decide that a fine of Rs 500.oo shall be slapped on anyone found disposing wastes in public places other than a dustbin. “Our farmers club’s decision was agreed to and respected by one and all in the Domkohsam”, said Mr. Triphon Marngar, one of the active members of Farmer Club. 

It was a change that changed the face of Domkohsam from being an ugly place with waste materials all around to a beautiful & clean village. Domsohkam is now a sitting example of how peoples’ collective action can do the magic.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Contributed by: Brolius D Marbaninag, Coordinator, NSSS, Nongstoin, Meghalaya
Edited by: Prabal Sen, Caritas India, Guwahati, Assam
 

 

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

COMMUNITY ACTION BRINGS IRRIGATION WATERS TO THE FIELDS


Water for irrigation has always been a problem for the people of New Khimiyang village in Changlang District of Arunachal Pradesh. Scarcity of irrigation water compelled the community to depend on rains for agricultural purpose. Given the present trend of erratic rainfalls, the farmers were compelled to abandon their fields due to severe draughts in lean seasons. “We were not able to cultivate our field as per our needs and were wondering if ever we could overcome this grim situation”, said Nganjong Tekhil, Gaon Bura (village headman) of the village.   

This was an unavoidable challenge that the community was face with and they looked quite demoralised for the reason that they cannot cultivate as per their demand. Meanwhile, Seva Kendra Arunachal (East) SKA (E), has been working in this village since 2013 under the FARM project.   SKA (E) was aware of the problem faced by the community and was motivating them to take up the issue by themselves with the Government authorities. Team SKA (E) saw the flame of motivation being ignited in a few youths of the village and it was Reybo Rekhung, the Anchal Samiti Member (ASM), who took the lead. The ASM along with a few others tried best to motivate the people and held several rounds of meetings in the month of August 2014 on how best the problem of water scarcity could e addressed. “I feel contented about what I have done to motivate my own people”, said Mr. Reybo Rekhung.

It was just a matter of time when people started developing interest towards the cause knowing the fact that it would benefit them and also would put a permanent end to their sufferings. Reybo and his friends have made us realise the fact that if we work together for a common cause, we may bring about the change that we desire to see”, said Ms. Sengwan Tangha. The people of Khimiyang village decided that they would collectively approach the Government for a water reservoir from which the water could be channelized to the fields. Team SKA (E) was supporting the community all efforts like facilitations. “We decided that we would rather directly approach the local MLA than anyone else” said Kangsam Kinhum.  

Water reservoir
On 3rd September 2014, a group of people led by Reybo approached the Local MLA at Miao with a formal letter requesting his attention towards the issue raise y them.  The MLA assured them that he would look into the issue. The community met the MLA again on 15th October 2014 to their utter happiness the saw the MLA forwarding their letter to the Department of Water Resources, Government of Arunachal Pradesh. “We could not believe things happening so fast” said Ms Singhom Songkho.

The Department of Water Resources swung into action and while approving the request, sanctioned the work within a month on 17th November 2014. “I am overwhelmed with this good news that we will have proper water supply for our agriculture from now on”, said Songlang Sungkho. 

Canal
The confident looking community of Khimiyang village did not leave it there. They met again to ensure proper and smooth functional of the reservoir and the canal so that that there no delays. The community also volunteered to contribute labour for construction. The work was finally completed on 20th May 2014.  

Farmers of Khimiyang village are able to irrigate their fields from the canal that was a result of their collective actions.
 
 
 
Contributed by: Mintu Mosahary, Coordinator, SKA East, Arunachal Pradesh
Edited by: Prabal Sen, Caritas India, Guwahati, Assam
 

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

COMMUNITY REJECTS MIDDLE MAN

Northeast India is home to tea gardens & New Khamlang village in Changlang District of Arunachal Pradesh was not an exception to this. This village not only consumes tea but also grows it. Almost every household has on an average 1 to 2 acres of land exclusively for tea cultivation. The proximity of this place to the neighbouring state of Assam perhaps could have made tea a popular cultivation. “I don’t know since when but tea cultivation has been an integral component of our society and it will remain to be so forever, said Gaon Burah (village headman), a septuagenarian from the village.

New Khamlang with a population of 511 is growing tea as one its income generation activities. “We cultivate tea as it has always got demand in the market and gives us an income though not satisfying enough”, said Pondang Sangwal a farmer from New Khamlang. It has been a popular practice until the change happened that the people would usually sell their tea to the middlemen at a throw away price. The middlemen would come on regular intervals to the village and bargain the cost as per his will sighting several reasons that the innocent people would never contest. The people were selling tea hardly at Rs. 10 to 12 per kilogram. “We were compelled to sell our tea at such a rate as we thought that we did not have touch with the actual market from where we could get a better price”, said Dangrem Ngaimong.


The FARM North East partner Seva Kendra Arunachal East (SKA) while promoting agricultural activities was also motivating people to take up marketing of their products in order to earn more. SKA was aware of the middle men playing spoilsport with the small tea growers by depriving them of what they deserve. “The issue of marketing has always been a stumbling stone for us to deal with due to many reasons but we are trying hard to see to it that the people get their share of benefits by growing tea”, said Mintu Mosahary, the project Coordinator.


Team SKA put in its weight behind the community of New Khamlang village & suggested them to contact the Manager of the tea processing factory at Kharsang. The community was told that they have an option of selling their tea leaves to this factory & that they have a high probability of getting a much better price than what being offered by the middle men.


Community involved in meeting

The community started thinking on the lines suggested by Team SKA. “We sat together with our village elders and discussed thoroughly on what best could be done to help ourselves to derive maximum benefits”, said Ms. Rumba Ngaimong. They approached the Manager of the tea factory during the August 2015 & held a couple of rounds of meetings with him to share their grievances and requested him to help them.  Village elders & women represented the group that met the Manager.

Tea leaves loaded on the vehicle to sent to factory
The Manager gave them a patient hearing and asked them to strike a deal with a formal contract. He asked the villagers to supply tea leaves on a daily basis to the factory during the season. “We were taken by surprise when we found the Manager coming forward to help us as we thought that it may not an easy job”, said Kumjung Hachang, Anchal Samiti member (ASM).

The community after returning to New Khamlang shared the piece of information all and requested them to cooperate fully. “When we came know about the good news that we would be selling our tea leaves to the factory our happiness was to the extreme”, said Ms. Nyasham Hachang.  The people of New Khamlang also fixed a vehicle that would carry the tea leaves on a daily basis to the factory at Kharsang.
The middle man thus became a history in New Khamlang today. The small tea growers are selling their tea leaves at a rate of Rs. 20 to 25 per kilogram to the factory. “We realised the true meaning of the famous quote that says Where there is will, there is a Way”, said a beaming Ms. Resham Ngaimong.
                                                                              
Contributed by: Mintu Mosahary, Coordinator, SKA East, Arunachal Pradesh
Edited by: Prabal Sen, Caritas India, Guwahati, Assam

Friday, 11 September 2015

COMMUNITY ACTION BRINGS BACK A DEFUNCT POST OFFICE TO LIFE

Boasimla is the Lower Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh is one of the project villages under FARM North East. This village is presumably a little ahead of others in terms of communication & transport but development is still in a very slow pace. FARM North East, however, seems to have unleashed a ray of optimism among the people of this village by motivating them to utilise their own potential & do what is best for them. “We saw the power of unity in us when we worked together to ban the popular soft drink in our area”, said Ms. D. Renia.

Since last 3 years the post office of Boasimla was almost non-existent. The makeshift building was completely damaged & there were no officials attending to the much needed essential service that is otherwise enjoyed by citizens in almost every corner of the country. “I as an educated unemployed youth need to apply for various jobs & for that  to send filled up job application forms via post but I was unable to do so & I had to travel 47 Kms to Ziro by spending my own pocket money of Rupees 400/-”, said a disappointed youth Rakhe Rakesh.
 
The nearest post office was at Ziro, the District headquarters of Lower Subansiri. Even students were at the receiving end as they had to travel to Ziro to apply for higher studies. Moreover, the community in Boasimla were deprived of taking benefits of various saving schemes of post office. “I hear that one can make savings in the post office, even I wanted to save but I have dropped the idea as I cannot be travelling to Ziro every month”, said Ms. Guchi Atick.  

The newly established Post Office at Boasimla
The project team of Itanagar Diocesan Empowerment Association (IDEA) was made aware of the issue of post office while they were interacting with the community during one of their routine visits. “We were busy implementing out project activities & it was during the month of January 2015 that we came to know about the problem”, said Ms. Boni Anima, member, Team IDEA. The people of boasimla shared their grievances with IDEA & pointed out that they are serious to do something about it. “We told IDEA friends that the issue of a regular post office have been a long standing demand of the people & that they must show us the way to fulfil our demand”, said Godak Taram.



Day to day activity in the post office
“How long would we go on discussing about this problem?”, said Choki Punung.  The Farmers’ Club (FC) decided after rounds of meeting & consultations with Team IDEA that they would approach the authorities at Ziro to find a permanent solution. The farmers and the community decided to form a Village Action Team (VAT) consisting of 15 men & women together for taking up the issue with the concerned authorities during the month of February 2015. Team IDEA meanwhile was facilitating the peoples’ movement towards solving the issue. “As we did not know much, we were guided by our IDEA friends on whom to approach in Ziro for our issue to be addressed”, said Boni Dominic.
 
The VAT held met the Superintendent Officer (CSO), Post Office at Ziro & while making a written request to CSO held several rounds of meetings during the month of March 2015. “It wasn’t easy for us to travel all the way to Ziro for meeting the CSO but deep in our heart we were determined to get the job done”, said Taw Halli.


Initially, the CSO & other officials did not budge despite of several requests. But they gave in finally when they realised that it was a genuine issue. The officials were convinced that the people of Boasimla & nearby areas have been deprived of a pot office since many years and those they genuinely deserved one in their area. CSO was prompt enough to pass on official order to make the post office operational with immediate effect. The people in turn also made a noble gesture by volunteering themselves for the construction of the post office building.  
 
Boasimla, today has a fully functional post office with staffs regularly attending to peoples’ needs. “Our struggle bore results & we feel delighted about it”, said Rigio Yakio.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Contributed by: Sanjit Basumatary, IDEA, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh
Edited by: Prabal Sen, Caritas India, Guwahati

Friday, 21 August 2015

COMMUNITY REPAIRS A WATER LOGGED ROAD IN VILLAGE

Drain dug out for installing PVC pipes
Water logging on the roads during rains used to make life difficult for the people in Rajabari village under Jorhat District of Assam. The road is vital means of transportation & communication for people living in that area. “We are dependent on this road on a daily basis to meet our need but due to water logging it got difficult for us to even walk on the road”, said Ms. Gulapi Guria. Having faced all the hardships the community thought of taking a concrete step towards repairing the road. During one of the visits of the project team of Seva Kendra Dibrugarh (SKD), the community shared the issue of water logging in their road. “We told our friends from SKD the tale of our sufferings due to water logging & they gave us a patient hearing”, said Ms. Ursella Guria.


Community doing the repair works
The Farmers’ Club (FC) of Rajabari then mobilized itself & sat together to decide on the course of action. Team SKD facilitated the meeting & motivated the community to take action. “We decided that 32 households would contribute Rs 30 each along with labour for the repair of the road,” said Alen Guria (FC President). The community made request to SKD for financial assistance towards purchasing PVC pipes for the repair. “We told them (Team SKD) that we may not be able to collect the entire amount required for purchasing materials required for repair works”, said Clement Surin. The group work of the community began in the month of June-July 2015. The men were involved in the repair works while the women supported them with food & others. 



PVC Pipe installed for proper drainage
Given the seriousness of the issue, Team SKD thought that it would be appropriate if they could help the community by contributing financially towards purchasing two numbers of PVC pipes of 20 feet each length required for making the drainage on the road. SKD in consultation with the Zonal office of Caritas India decided to contribute the PVC pipes. “Our happiness was doubled when we saw SKD contributing with the PVC pipes”, said Benjamin Guria.  The repair works was finally completed by the community during July 2015. The road today wears a new look & is free of water logging no matter it rains or not.

The community looked happy as well as motivated & it seemed that they found a new lease of life after having repaired the road for good. “We are grateful to SKD friends for having helped us to solve the problem of water logging in our area”, said a happy looking Ms. Albescia Minj.






Contributed by, Cornelius Minj, SKD, Dibrugarh, Assam
Edited by: Prabal Sen, Caritas India, Guwahati

Thursday, 30 July 2015

ENVIRONMENT CONSERVATION - A COMMUNITY INITIATIVE

Fishes are a delicacy among the Nyishi’s of Tamen - III village in Upper Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh. Being blessed with the hill Stream Rivers, fishes are in plenty for the Nyishi’s to feed on. “We never buy fishes from the market as we go fishing to meet our needs”, said Tam Taring. In the good old days fishing was done either with fishing rods, nets or other traditional gears. Traditionally, people were barred from fishing during the breeding season & fishes were allowed to reproduce in grow their population. But with time perceptions change resulting in unsustainable fishing practices. “We knew that such practices would someday lead us nowhere but we had to feed ourselves & with time the feeding mouths have also increased”, said Markio Tallar.    
River Pehain Koroaa where fishes were caught
 by blasting or electrocution
The community resorted to killing fishes relentlessly by using dynamites (for blasting under water) & electrification though generators. One blasting or electrification would fetch fishes in good quantity but the community was not able practice this dangerous art frequently as the density of fish population reduced drastically. Gone were the bindings of not fishing during the breeding seasons. Notwithstanding the fact that it is illegal to use dynamite for fishing, people resorted to using the same without any thought. “I can’t remember who for the first time used dynamite or generator for fishing, I simply used do it to feed my family”, said Ms. Boa Shanty, who was using dynamite for fishing.

A village boy going for fishing with a net
The practice of blasting went on & on thus having an adverse impact on the aquatic environment of the hill streams & rivers. Apparently the fish population was going down drastically & people were struggling to get fishes from such sources.  Tamen - III is one of the project villages where FARM (Facilitating Agricultural Regeneration Measures) North East (project) partner Itanagar Diocesan Development Association (IDEA) is working. Team IDEA came to know about the malpractice of fishing in the year 2013 & decided to do something about it. During November 2014 Team IDEA that was already in touch with the community for FARM North East activities, tried to find out what actually was going wrong. “Our consultations with the farmers’ club (FC) revealed that they had a great concern on the rampant malpractices (blasting) being carried out in their area”, said Sanjit Basumatary, Team IDEA.

Fishes caught from the river
From here it looked like that the people were slowly realizing the impact of such unviable practice of fishing. They could realize that if this persists, sooner or later fishes could well be a history. “The present trend of fishing looks scary to me, a few varieties of fishes that existed in the past are nowhere to be seen now”, said Ms.Guchi Puma. The communities were responding to the awareness generated by Team IDEA.

It was time for making resolutions by the community against the practice of killing fishes by dynamite or electricity. Team IDEA standing strong behind the community by motivating them by all possible means. “We thought it’s high time that we take some stringent steps against this prevailing menace” said Tenik Yacham. The FC them resolved strongly that now on no one would be allowed to use dynamite or electricity for fishing & also that fishes would not killed during the breeding season. And if that was not enough, the village council promulgated rules that invites heavy fines to the tune of Rs 10,000 to anyone caught using dynamite or electricity for fishing. The rule came into effect immediately during April & 2015 & the community too is responding to the same. “We are here to ensure that our next generation does not hear about stories on fishes, they also enjoy the taste of it”, said Ms. Kabak Chaluk. Selling & buying of dynamite is a history in Tamen - III village & more so people are aware that nature has still a lot to offer. “Conservation of environment is in our blood, just that we needed to revive the practice”, said Ms. Guchi Sho wearing a grin on her face. 






Contributed by: Taw Bosco, IDEA, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh
Edited by: Prabal Sen, Caritas India, Guwahati

Saturday, 18 July 2015

NAAM GHAR - A TEMPLE OF HUMANITY

This story may be considered as an example of traditional practices by the community in North East India. The Naam Ghar (Temple) in Khaloibari village under Kamrup Metro District of Assam is a religious place for worship with a difference. As per an age old practice, the temple receives 12,600 kg of paddy annually from around 105 households. This practice perhaps sets this village apart from others where the community is up in arms in conserving the age old practice of donating paddy for a good cause. “I can’t remember exactly when this system came into being but I have seen my parents donating to the Temple & so do I,” said Keshab Das, septuagenarian from the village.

The Naam Ghar
Since time immemorial, the families from these households traditionally donate paddy each year to the temple granary during the month of December after the end harvesting of Shali paddy season. Shali is a local name for a paddy season & is generally carried out from July to October - November of a particular year.

The Naam Ghar has a committee in place that takes care of the smooth functioning of its activities. This committee is respected by all in the village. The committee also has a role in selecting people for development activities in the village. The office bearers in the farmers’ club under FARM North East have also been selected by the Temple committee consultation with the community. As per the prevalent customary practice, every household donates 60 Kg of paddy to the temple granary. The committee looking after the temple would take a call on how to utilize the paddy. “Generally we take a collective decision on how best we can utilize the grains stored in the granary, we also take all precautions to upkeep the condition of the granary so that the grains remain fresh,” said Dandi Deka.

Members of the Naam Ghar Committee
with the Granary at the Backdrop
As per general practice this paddy is used for public feast in various festivals that the temple organizes every year. The surplus amount of paddy is generally sold out in the local market & whatever is earned is used in Temple related activities like maintenance & others. The age old practice of this Temple ensures that the members of the community are regularly donating grains to the temple.  The committee has a strict system in places that imposes a fine of double the quantity of paddy if any individual fails to donate during a current year. This individual would have to donate 120 Kg of paddy as a penance.

However, this system has one more unique attribute. The Temple would come to rescue a person in distress. In case anyone in the village is downtrodden & hit poverty, the temple would take the responsibility of feeding this family by unleashing the doors of its granary. “We try our best to see to it that if a particular family is struck by poverty, we provide them with immediate relief & continue doing so until the family stands on its feet”, said Sureshwar Medhi, Secretary of Naam Ghar (Temple) Committee.   


This story may not talk any project interventions under FARM North East. It is a documented case of traditional practice by the community & it talks about divinity leading to humanity. 


Contributed by: Prabin Minz, GGSS, Guwahati, Assam
Edited by: Prabal Sen, Caritas India, Guwahati, Assam

Friday, 17 July 2015

EMERGING - WOMAN MODEL FARMER

Mrs. Runu Murmu, has emerged as one of a woman lead farmer in Panjan village in Titabor Block under Jorhat district of Assam. She is 35 years of age and her husband is a private school teacher who is the main bread earner for the family. They have been blessed with four children two sons and two daughters. Her early married life was confined to household chores with a small kitchen gardening. In the initial stage of her kitchen gardening, she was using chemical fertilizer and pesticide extensively to get more and rapid productivity for the family’s self consumption in a small area of about 1 bigha.

Runu in Her Farm
However, after attending numbers of training programs organized by Seva Kendra Dibrugarh (SKD) and farmer’s club meetings, her interest on organic farming, integrated pest management and her own traditional knowledge have increased. It is since their children have also grown up and started going to school. Her husband being a private school teacher found very difficult with little salary to maintain both the family and for the education of their children. This led her to start agriculture as part of earning and supporting for the family.

Runu in Her Farm
Now she gave up all the uses of chemicals and pesticides in her garden since 2014. She is using only cow dung and other natural composed to manure the plants.  She planted seasonal vegetables like jika, cucumber, ladies finger, ginger, rice gourd, bitter gourd, beans, pumpkin etc. Today she is practicing multiple and seasonal cropping in her small land of about 1 Bigha. Currently beside her self consumption, she sells her organic products weekly. She has created link with many shopkeepers with whom she sells her bulk products at wholesale rate and averagely earns around Rs. 10000 per month seasonally. With this income, she is supporting the family expenses and for the education of their children. Good production has also increased her interest and passion for agriculture that she has added another plot of land close to her land for further cultivation. Today she has inspired many farmers in promoting organic farming. 

Runu Showing her Farm to Caritas India Officials
The officials from Caritas India have also visited her vegetable farm and witnessed her garden. They have immensely praised and appreciated her agricultural works. They also advised her to motivate other farmers especially to women farmers. Thus she has become a woman lead farmer in the village. She said, “Organic products saistho karone bhaal aru income barhe, aamak aji aidor e keti kora ussith-saistho aru poribhekh karone,” meaning organic products are good for health & environment & raises income, today we must cultivare in this way for better health & environment.  She also sincerely thanks to Seva Kendra Dibrugarh (SKD) for their support, guidance and appreciation.



Contributed by: Cornelius Minj, SKD, Dibrugarh, Assam
Edited By: S.L. Peter, Caritas  India, Guwahati